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Bacs publishes Direct Debit consultation outcomes at EPA conference

24.5.2017

​The results of a comprehensive public consultation into Direct Debit will be a key theme at the Emerging Payments Association’s (EPA) Pay 360 Digital Payments Annual Conference today (24 May), following its publication by lead sponsor Bacs Payment Schemes Limited (Bacs).

The consultation on Direct Debit – which is used to pay 73 per cent of household bills – was carried out in late 2016 and included a call for public responses, market research, as well as in-depth interviews with stakeholders.

While the exercise found that Direct Debit continues to be the most popular method to pay regular bills, the consultation has also prompted plans to investigate further product enhancements; those being considered would ensure Direct Debit remains the payment method of choice for the tens of thousands of businesses and millions of consumers who rely on it to pay and collect funds.

These plans include scoping potential work around flexibility in frequency and date of payments, the future ability to incorporate additional interaction between billers and customers, and improved access for organisations wishing to use Bacs’ services.

The findings are officially released today (available here) and coincide with Bacs’ sponsorship of the EPA’s Pay360 Digital Payments annual conference, which brings together a wide range of organisations from the fintech and paytech industries.

Bacs’ Director of Product and Strategy, Anne Pieckielon, said: “While Direct Debit usage has never been higher, we are committed to ensuring that this trusted and market-leading product continues to meet the future needs of millions of consumers and tens of thousands of businesses alike, remaining a payment method of choice.

“It is for this reason that we conducted a review, including a public consultation, into Direct Debit in late 2016. This process has helped us understand the business challenges and customer needs today and in the future – establishing where Direct Debit is functioning flawlessly and where there is potential to adopt changes to enhance the product still further.

“We will continue to collaborate closely with all stakeholders, and the wider industry, to ensure that any future work carried out is consistent with the overall regulatory framework and industry strategy and we look forward to discussing this further at the EPA’s annual conference.”

Bacs’ Direct Debit consultation outcomes report and accompanying report annexes can be found here:

www.bacs.co.uk/DDConsultation

www.bacs.co.uk/DDConsultationAnnexes

For further information contact our press office​.​​​

 

Notes to Editors:

About Bacs:
Bacs has been maintaining the integrity of payment related services since 1968, with responsibility for

the schemes behind the clearing and settlement of UK automated payment methods, Direct Debit and Bacs Direct Credit, as well as the provision of managed services for third parties, such as the Cash ISA Transfer Service, and the development, management and subsequent ownership of the Current Account Switch Service.

More than 120 billion transactions have been debited or credited to British bank accounts via Bacs since its inception; in 2016, nearly 6.25 billion UK payments were made this way, while a new record was also set in September 2016 with the number of transactions processed by Bacs in a single day reaching a high of 109.3million.

A not-for- profit entity which has maintained carbon neutral status since 2012, Bacs is a membership
company limited by Guarantee.

For further information please visit www.bacs.co.uk.

More about Direct Debit:

A Direct Debit is an instruction from a customer to their bank or building society authorising an organisation to collect varying amounts from their account, normally for regular payments for everything from household bills to charitable donations. Almost nine out of 10 British adults have at
least one Direct Debit commitment, with 73 per cent of household bills paid this way; 62 per cent of
people in GB prefer to pay most bills by Direct Debit, and the number of people who feel positively towards Direct Debit reached 77 per cent in 2016. Over 4 billion Direct Debits were processed in 2016, and Direct Debit payments are protected by the Direct Debit Guarantee, a money back consumer safeguard.

For more information about Direct Debit, visit www.directdebit.co.uk.

More about Bacs Direct Credit:

Bacs Direct Credit is a simple, secure and reliable service, which enables organisations of all sizes to
make payments direct into a bank or building society account - unlike cash or cheques, Bacs Direct
Credit payments cannot be lost, stolen or delayed in the post. There are more than 150,000 organisations in the UK using Bacs Direct Credit; while it has been widely adopted to pay benefits, wages and salaries – nearly 90 per cent of the country’s workforce is paid this way and one billion benefit payments are made via Bacs Direct Credit – it is also the payment method of choice for a range of other applications such as pension payments, employee expenses, insurance settlements, dividends and refunds.

Bacs also owns and manages the Current Account Switch Service, as well as operating the Cash ISA Transfer Service and the Biller Update Service. Find out more here.